Standing in the kitchen, we told our daughter, Tori, she was only getting one present for her birthday. She looked a little confused as we handed her a small, flat, rectangular present that was very light. She opened it up and screamed in delight as she realized it was the picture cut from the packing box of the Razor electric scooter she had been coveting ever since her friends in the neighborhood had gotten one a year earlier. We had not intended to purchase such an expensive birthday present, but it was something Tori really wanted. So, we sacrificed a little more, and cut the budget just a little bit deeper in order to be able to get her the $125 scooter.
She loved her new scooter, and rode it every single day. It was the first thing she would do when she got home from school. She rode it so much, in fact, that I affectionately started calling her “Scooter Girl.”
Less than two months later, we stood in almost the identical spot in the kitchen as she told me she wanted to show me something, but she didn’t want me to be upset. She took me out to the garage and showed me that at the base of the handle bar stem had cracked, and was about to break completely.
I’m not one of those parents that think my kids can do no wrong (at least I don’t think I am), but I don’t see how a very petite 10 year old could break a metal bar on an electric scooter. The right thing to do would be to return the scooter as defective. Unfortunately, in very large print on the font page of the owner’s manual read the sentence “Do not return to retailer” and gave contact information for the manufacturer if the product was found to be defective.
Sending the scooter back to the manufacturer would be quite a hassle (would we have to pay to send a 30 pound scooter through the mail?), and it would be likely be quite a long time before our daughter would get the scooter back, which she had become accustomed to riding every day.
Luckily, through conversation we found out that one of our neighbors down the block knows how to weld, and has the equipment in his garage. The next time Vonnie happened to run into him in the cul-de-sac, she asked if he could possibly weld Tori’s scooter. He happily agreed, and later that day, Tori’s scooter was returned, welded and ready to go.
About a week later, on Father’s Day, Tori again approached me and said, “I don’t want to ruin your Father’s Day, but the handlebars on my scooter are starting to move again.” I assured her she wasn’t ruining my Father’s Day and took a look at her scooter and saw that the weld was now also cracking and breaking.
Thinking of our options and remembering the large print on the owner’s manual, even if the scooter was defective, given that we had tried to have it welded, I didn’t think there was any way the manufacturer would honor the warranty now. A very disappointed little girl instantly started calculating how long it would take her to save up for a new electric scooter.
This simmered just below the surface of Vonnie’s consciousness for about 10 days before she couldn’t take it anymore. If you’ve been following me at all, you know that the fact that the scooter was unusable less than 2 months after Tori’s birthday wouldn’t didn’t sit well with her. At 10:30am last Thursday Vonnie called me at work. She asked if I could possibly come home, take pictures of the scooter and email them to Razor. She had talked to a customer service representative, and although they wish we would have called them after it broke the first time, they may still be willing to do something for us.
I drove home, took the pictures and sent them off. Within just a few hours I received a response from Razor stating that they were sending all the necessary parts to repair Tori’s scooter. I sent back a thank you email, stating that they made a 10 year old very happy. Then I tweeted Razor telling them how much they rock.
To have the scooter break within such a short time was just wrong, and we both knew it. I didn’t think Razor would honor the warranty due to our failed attempt to weld it, but Vonnie was undeterred. She proved that some companies will do the right thing, all you have to do is ask the question and give them a chance.
What would you have done? Would you have shipped the scooter back after it broke the first time? Would you have thought Razor would have honored the warranty after the failed weld job?